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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2021

    Exclamation Looking for the correct mask

    Hello to everyone and before anything I want to apologize for my poor English. I will try to explain myself in the best way I can.

    I’m currently working in a warehouse with no ventilation. The owners are just using fans all over the place to keep the workplace cooler, because we are located in the desert of Nevada and is pretty hot during summer.

    The think is, this people use an acrylic cutting machine that is creating pieces during, maybe, 6 hours every day. Probably they don’t have a single idea about how dangerous that is, because nobody uses any kind of protection. The entire time there is an strong smell all over the place and you can see small particles of that material on some surfaces when the cutting is done. I’m absolutely sure that breathing that is toxic. So, what kind of compact mask is ok to be safe without telling them the real purpose. I’m absolutely sure that is imposible to have a dialogue with this people about the health problems that this machine could produce in the lungs. They’re been doing the same activity for 8 years using absolutely nothing in a closed small area with no ventilation at all. And they seems to be ok with that. A new worker is not going to change anything just talking, so, right now I’m concerned about my own health. Please help me with this.

    Thank you.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 5FC87569-19C0-47E2-882C-B35DF7066269.jpg  

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008

    Re: Looking for the correct mask

    Sorry for your situation. I don’t think your going to get some definite recommendation here. Someone with a background in environmental safety needs to visit your site. You need to convince your employer that it’s in their best interest to have someone come in. Employee turnover, higher health care costs, productivity, potential workmen’s comp in the future come to mind just by reading your post.
    At the very least you could any mask you like until something happens.
    Good luck.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Community Moderator difalkner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014

    Re: Looking for the correct mask

    Just about any protection would be better than using nothing. My guess is that no city/county inspector or OSHA agent has visited this facility.
    Romans 3:23
    Etsy shop opened 12/1/17 - CurlyWoodShop

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Re: Looking for the correct mask

    When working with materials for laser cutting and engraving, it is prudent to know there are any risks caused by the process. So, first thing to do is to identify the material (either by its scientific name or its trade (brand) name. Next, investigate whether there are any hazards caused by your process (burning it with a CO2 laser). Then, decide whether you will accept the risk and process the job (A few years back I asked a laser services company in Massachusetts to laser perforate PVC wallpaper--and the guys said that the laser ablation caused an acid to be released into the air, and that they would need to decide whether to take on the job--and that they had the right to refuse and that their employer could not fire/take retribution because this was their right as a worker).

    In your acrylic example, you could read the brand name that is located on the protective paper adhered to the sheets. Then, search for the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)--now renamed to the modern name of SDS (Safety Data Sheet). Check the fire section (for burning) as these sheets were originally designed for the fireman to know when entering into a burning facility--what to wear in the way of protective gear. So, since the laser is burning (albeit a much tinier amount), check that for hazardous chemicals released into the air and recommended fireman protective gear, then decide. I looked up MSDS for acrylic and this was the first link.

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